Egg Films’ Zwelethu Radebe directed The Independent State of Nandi, a choose-your-own-ending series of short films brought to Twitter from inside the all-new Ford Fiesta. Released every Monday and Thursday over four weeks across June and July 2018, the eight shorts captured Twitter’s imagination, with the first episode getting over 14 000 votes, 350 retweets, and nearly 2000 Likes, and the finale being watched over 230 000 times, generating nearly 150 comments.
Agency GTB Johannesburg approached Egg with the idea for a series that allowed the audience to drive the story by voting at the end of each episode on which way the characters should go.
Zwelethu worked with The River screenwriter Nelisa Ngcobo and the agency’s creative team of Nico Botha, Neil Lindsay, Sophia Basckin, and Candice Mcleroth to craft the different storylines around Nandi (Lebo Borole), who is taking her new Fiesta on its first long-distance trip, from Johannesburg to Amanzimtoti for her sister’s wedding. She’s bringing along her Sotho boyfriend Sechaba (Marcus Mabusela) with the hopes of introducing him slowly to her traditional Zulu family.
Zwelethu and DOP Ofentse Mwase shot 14 epilogues for the first seven episodes, to cater for the different voting outcomes. William Kalmer edited all eight shorts at Post Modern.
Twitter gets a bad rap for bringing out people’s worst sides, but Ford Fiesta drivers seem to be a nicer bunch, voting to give Nandi’s sister her say rather than cutting her off; to answer rather than screen calls from her mother; and to help a Gogo who didn’t entirely deserve it.
“This feels like the future of advertising,” says Egg Films’ executive producer Colin Howard. “Where storytelling isn’t limited to 30-second TV commercials and the audience can be involved more than ever before.”